Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy

31357008Truth or Dare was never this much fun…

Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.

Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.

Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions…but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, sexual situations, adult language, and an intense bad boy hero who will meltyour heart.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This was a cute summer read.  It was probably more of a 3.5 star read for most of the book, but like many other reviewers I saw, I was not impressed with Annie’s actions near the end of the book and felt like they didn’t necessarily fit her character from what I could tell.  So while it turned out ok, it made me like Annie a little less, and so I dropped it a half star.

I enjoyed Annie…sometimes she confused me a little.  She was supposed to be really shy, and trying to turn over a new leaf at camp, but I just can’t see that being easy to do (as someone who is shy as well).  I wish I’d seen more internal struggle…sometimes her boldness seemed out of place, and I wish she’d been freaking out a bit more inside, or working up that courage or something.  I also didn’t always get her water fears…we didn’t find out the cause til near the end, so it didn’t quite have the same emotional impact.  And that she would jump in the water those few brave times felt weird to me…but maybe I just don’t understand all the ways a phobia works for different people.  She was pretty authentically 16 though…held on to the crush of Kyle longer than *I* would have liked, but that wanting to have the movie/book experience of being with the popular guy clouded her to actually what he was like.

I probably enjoyed Jake more than Annie, but still felt like his struggles were more cliche and not fleshed out to the individual that is Jake.  Like he actually tells us that he was acting out for attention…do teens doing that know that’s why they’re doing that?  Maybe they do.  What do I know?  It just felt like I didn’t always believe it.  Sometimes he had great character development though, like when he was missing his Dad and stuff…  I also felt like Juvie was harsh for a first time offender stealing hubcaps, but honestly maybe I don’t understand the legal ramifications and should just trust the author to have done her research.  So I didn’t always feel like the consequences of his actions were reasonable.  He wasn’t quite the bad boy I was expecting, but I enjoyed him and his romantic ways, so I’m ok with it.

The romance was pretty sweet.  They had some adorable moments together.  I didn’t feel is super hard, but it was there.  Great epilogue too.

I wasn’t that keen on the girls in Annie’s cabin.  Sometimes they seemed like mean girls, and then all of a sudden Annie’s like “oh, they’re great!”  I saw it with some of the girls, but definitely not all.  Didn’t really get them.  Maybe it’s been too long since I was a teen girl.

So yeah, it was kind of shallow for me basically.  Light summer read, but I wanted a bit more.  I had more written, but apparently my draft didn’t save and I lost this last paragraph.  😛


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